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TikTok SEO essentials for eCommerce sellers

Over a third (37%) of users discover new products and services on TikTok. Merchandise can gain even more visibility on the platform with enhanced search result rankings. 

Savvy retailers and content creators are seizing this opportunity by making SEO a pivotal part of their TikTok strategy. Gen Z especially is drawn to TikTok’s personalized results and quick information delivery, which highlights its potential as a powerful eCommerce tool.

What started as simply an entertainment platform has now become a hub for knowledge and learning.

In a recent report, a Senior VP from Google discovered nearly 40% of Gen Z uses TikTok and Instagram as search engines rather than Google. Further, TikTok is testing a new feature that links keywords in comments to search results, suggesting a shift toward search engine functionality.

As an eCommerce retailer, you must adapt to this shift and to tap into a new channel that’s ripe for sales.

TikTok’s algorithm tailors content based on user interactions to present an engaging and individualized feed. Plus, the bite-sized videos make information easily digestible and quick to absorb, which younger audiences highly value.

Social commerce is on the rise. Learn how to integrate social commerce into your eCommerce platform to expand your reach.

Get started with TikTok SEO

Combining TikTok’s growing influence with strategic SEO can significantly boost your online presence and drive more conversions by enhancing your content’s visibility. So, how do you set the wheels in motion? Let’s break it down.

Optimize your profile

Your profile is your brand’s storefront on TikTok, so it should be attractive, compelling, and informative, comprising:

  • A unique and recognizable username: Preferably choose your brand name or a close variant if it’s already taken. This ensures users can find you easily when they search for your brand.
  • A clear profile picture: Select an image that aligns with your brand identity. It could be your brand logo, mascot, or something else that resonates with your established personality. Also, make sure the picture is easily discernible, even on small mobile screens.
  • A concise bio: This description should be brief yet informative enough to convey your brand, what kind of content you create, and the value users can gain from following you.

Include relevant keywords to expand your visibility in user searches and add a link to your eCommerce site as well to drive traffic and potential sales.

Create engaging, high-quality content

After you set up your profile, the next step is to create content. Crafting quality content is an essential component of TikTok SEO, as it significantly affects your visibility and ranking on search engines.

Your videos should be high quality, engaging, and relevant to your target audience. Remember, TikTok is an entertainment-focused platform; even if your primary goal is to sell products, your content should entertain, inform, or inspire your audience.

The first few seconds of your video are particularly crucial as they determine whether viewers will continue to watch or scroll past. Start with a hook (e.g., an intriguing statement, a surprising fact, or an engaging question) to capture viewers’ attention instantly.

Craft relevant hashtags and descriptive captions

Employing the right hashtags is another critical component of TikTok SEO. Hashtags help categorize your content so it’s discoverable to users interested in those topics. Use a combination of popular, trending, and niche-specific hashtags to extend your content’s reach.

Although limited to 100 characters, your video captions are another opportunity to incorporate relevant keywords. They should be intriguing, descriptive, and encourage user interaction.

Not sure which keywords to use? Check out MyFBAPrep’s guide to finding keywords that convert.

Engage with your audience

Engagement is a significant factor in TikTok’s algorithm. When TikTok receives more of these signals, it indicates users find your content interesting, which, in turn, can boost its visibility.

Always respond to comments on your videos, engage with your followers, and publish content that encourages user interactions (like challenges, questions, etc.).

Leverage trending sounds

Even sounds and music tracks are searchable on TikTok. Implement trending sounds to increase your content’s discoverability and engagement.

Users often explore videos associated with a particular song or sound, so incorporating popular ones can land your content in front of a larger audience.

Consistent posting

Consistency is another crucial factor that influences brand awareness on TikTok. It not only keeps your brand at the top of users’ minds but also signals to the algorithm that you’re an active user, which increases your chances of being featured on users’ “For You” pages.

Experiment with posting times and frequencies to see what works best for your audience. A general rule of thumb is to post when your follower base is most active. Also, maintaining a consistent posting schedule can help retain and grow your audience.

Analyze and adapt

Finally, take advantage of TikTok’s built-in analytics (available with a Pro account) to understand what works and what doesn’t.

Pay attention to your video view counts, follower growth, and audience demographics. Experiment with various types of content, posting times, and promotional strategies, then refine your approach based on your performance data.

Optimizing your TikTok SEO is a continuous learning process. As the platform evolves and your audience grows, you’ll need to adjust your strategies to stay ahead.

Understanding TikTok’s algorithm

You need a deep understanding of TikTok’s algorithm to maximize your content’s reach. Although its exact workings are a closely guarded secret, several factors are known to influence content visibility.

User interactions

TikTok’s algorithm is designed to prioritize user interactions. This means the more someone engages with your content, the higher the chance your future posts will appear in their feed.

The algorithm factors in interactions including likes, shares, comments, follows, and the time spent watching a video. To increase these engagements, you must create compelling, share-worthy content. Ask questions, invite comments, and respond to comments as well to foster a relationship with your audience.

Video details

Another element the TikTok algorithm considers important is video details. These include your video captions, hashtags, and even the sounds you use.

Inserting relevant keywords in your captions, employing the right hashtags, and using trending sounds properly can improve your content’s discoverability.

Device and account settings

User devices and account settings — including the device type, location, and language preference — are another critical component to serve personalized content.

While you can’t directly control these factors, understanding your audience demographics and creating content they connect with can improve your reach.

Understanding your TikTok analytics

TikTok provides comprehensive analytics with pro accounts. You can uncover insights into your follower growth, profile views, content performance, and audience demographics.

By analyzing this data, you’ll better understand your audience’s preferences and the types of content that resonate most with them.

For example, if you notice a particular type of video garnering more views and engagement, you should produce more similar content. If your follower growth is concentrated in a specific location, consider crafting content that appeals to that demographic.

Remember, TikTok’s algorithm is designed to serve users with content they find most engaging and relevant. By understanding and adapting to the algorithm’s preferences, you can improve your TikTok SEO and enhance your content visibility, ultimately driving more traffic and potential customers to your eCommerce store.

TikTok SEO case studies

You can gain practical insights and inspiration for your own strategy by examining successful applications of SEO on TikTok. Let’s look into some top-notch examples of brands that have effectively leveraged TikTok SEO to increase their visibility and engage their audiences.

1. Chipotle

Chipotle’s #GuacDance campaign enticed users to dance in exchange for free guacamole on National Avocado Day. The campaign employed a catchy song, a compelling incentive (free guacamole), and a trending hashtag (#GuacDance). Additionally, Chipotle’s strategic hashtag use made their content easily discoverable for users interested in dance challenges or avocados.

The combination of music and a fun challenge encouraged user participation and engagement, leading to massive visibility and success for the campaign.

2. The Washington Post

The Washington Post may not be the first brand you’d associate with TikTok, but they’ve managed to carve out a unique niche on the platform. They did so by creating a mix of informative and entertaining videos that provide a behind-the-scenes look into their newsroom. Moreover, their captions are always clear, concise, and keyword optimized.

In a video about working from home, for instance, they used the hashtag #workdistractions — a popular tag for work-from-home-related content. Their strategic use of relevant and trending hashtags has made their content more discoverable and relatable to various audiences.

This use case shows that no matter your brand or industry, you can effectively engage with your audience and increase your visibility on the platform with the right approach and a strong understanding of TikTok SEO.

3. Gymshark

Gymshark, a fitness apparel and accessories brand, offers a brilliant example of effective TikTok SEO driving audience engagement.

They tapped into their target audience by publishing content that resonates with fitness enthusiasts and capitalizing on popular trends and hashtags. A prime case is their #Gymshark66 challenge, which encouraged users to commit to positive changes and document their 66-day fitness journey with the hashtag #Gymshark66.

Not only was this a trending hashtag within the fitness community on TikTok, but it also encouraged a high level of user-generated content, which significantly increased the brand’s reach and visibility on the platform.

Further, they wisely leveraged the power of influencers by collaborating with fitness influencers to showcase their products, share workout tips, and participate in challenges. These partnerships brought their dedicated followers, which expanded Gymshark’s reach on TikTok.

The brand uses a mix of fitness-related hashtags, such as #fitness, #workout, #fitfam, and brand-specific ones like #Gymshark66. Doing so makes their content easily discoverable to fitness enthusiasts browsing these topics.

These success stories share some common practices: creating captivating content, employing relevant hashtags, and jumping on trends without losing brand authenticity.

Wrapping up — TikTok SEO and the future of eCommerce

TikTok SEO and eCommerce growth share a strong correlation. By optimizing your TikTok SEO, you can attract a larger audience, leading to higher conversions and business growth. If you’re an eCommerce seller, you can’t afford to ignore TikTok SEO.

With TikTok’s increasing emphasis on search functionality, mastering TikTok SEO can give your business a significant competitive advantage. Make the most of this opportunity and kick-start your eCommerce growth with TikTok SEO.